The Value of Failure in Science: The Story of Grandmother Cells in Neuroscience

  title={The Value of Failure in Science: The Story of Grandmother Cells in Neuroscience},
  author={Ann-Sophie Barwich},
  journal={Frontiers in Neuroscience},
  • A. Barwich
  • Published 24 October 2019
  • Psychology
  • Frontiers in Neuroscience
The annals of science are filled with successes. Only in footnotes do we hear about the failures, the cul-de-sacs, and the forgotten ideas. Failure is how research advances. Yet it hardly features in theoretical perspectives on science. That is a mistake. Failures, whether clear-cut or ambiguous, are heuristically fruitful in their own right. Thinking about failure questions our measures of success, including the conceptual foundations of current practice, that can only be transient in an… 

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